Sea­son closes for Calvert

Lose to La Plata in four sets in 2A South sec­tion fi­nal

The Calvert Recorder - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

Just a week ago, the La Plata vol­ley­ball team cel­e­brated with the South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship plaque by virtue of a fiveset win over host Calvert.

On Wed­nes­day night, the sec­ond-seeded War­riors cel­e­brated some more af­ter knock­ing off the de­fend­ing Class 2A South Re­gion cham­pion Cavaliers yet again, this time in four sets in the 2A South Sec­tion II cham­pi­onship match by scores of 25-15, 25-22, 14-25 and 25-14.

La Plata (14-2 over­all) ad­vances to Fri­day’s re­gional cham­pi­onship match where it trav­els to take on Glenelg of Howard County at 5 p.m. The Gla­di­a­tors swept county foe Wilde Lake in the Sec­tion I fi­nal on Wed­nes­day.

It will be the first re­gion fi­nal ap­pear­ance for La Plata since 2014 when it was in the 3A South clas­si­fi­ca­tion.

“We came out and set the tone in the first two sets. We pretty much knew what Calvert’s lineup was like,” La Plata head coach Ash­ley Buchanan said. “It was just all about ro­ta­tions and we were able to ex­e­cute at the net and play strong de­fen­sively. Be­fore the sea­son we wanted to win SMAC and now we want to take the re­gion.”

Calvert (14-3), the sec­tion’s top seed, had La Plata’s num­ber in the reg­u­lar sea­son, de­feat­ing the War­riors in both meet­ings, but the tides turned as the War­riors

had the edge in the last two matchups, end­ing the Cavaliers’ valiant sea­son in the play­offs.

La Plata blitzed through the first two sets Wed­nes­day and was on the verge of col­lect­ing a sweep un­til Calvert re­sponded with a strong show­ing in the third set.

The War­riors took charge in the fourth set to take it and the match, reel­ing off eight straight points af­ter a 3-all tie.

La Plata, also the Po­tomac Divi­sion cham­pi­ons, was an­chored by its two of­fen­sive weapons in se­nior out­side hit­ter Devin Ru­ble and sopho­more mid­dle blocker Jayci Cham­ber­lain.

Ru­ble was a dom­i­nant force at the net, fin­ish­ing with a match-high 20 kills, while Cham­ber­lain con­trib­uted with seven kills.

“This was an amaz­ing win tonight. Ev­ery­one was ag­gres­sive at the net and we put the ball away,” Ru­ble said. “We had seen Calvert a cou­ple times al­ready and we we just made a few ad­just­ments. We didn’t want our sea­son to be over and ev­ery­body played their hearts out tonight.”

Se­nior set­ter Ava Krahling placed per­fect passes to her hit­ters as she fin­ished with 37 as­sists in the match.

“We were look­ing for­ward to this game,” Cham­ber­lain siad. “This was a huge win for us now. Calvert is a very good team and it was a bat­tle. Win­ning those two first sets re­ally gave us that mo­men­tum.”

The War­riors set the tone by tak­ing the first set soundly. The sec­ond set was tight through­out as the vis­i­tors held a 24-19 lead. Calvert did not go away as it cut the lead to 24-22, but La Plata’s scored the set’s fi­nal point on a Cavaliers er­ror at the net.

Led by the strong hit­ting of Rachel Black and Anna Kelly, Calvert (14-3), the SMAC Ch­e­sa­peake Divi­sion cham­pi­ons, jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the third set. La Plata came to within 10-7, but the Cavaliers went on a seven-point run and even­tu­ally won the set.

“You have to give it to La Plata for mak­ing big plays when it counted,” Calvert head coach Tim Smith said. “They were strong from start to fin­ish. We will miss our seven se­niors. We had a great sea­son.”

STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MA­SON

Mem­bers of the Calvert Cavaliers vol­ley­ball cel­e­brate af­ter a point dur­ing Wed­nes­day night’s Class 2A South Re­gion Sec­tion II fi­nal ver­sus visit­ing La Plata. The War­riors won the match in four sets.

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